A few weeks ago I received an email from Southern City Flavors, a local purveyor of barbecue sauces, jams, spreads and grits. They wondered if I’d want to try their products. I get a lot of requests like that that I don’t normally act on, but the gal who reached out to me was so pleasant and nice, I just had to take her up on it. Plus, I was excited to try the grits.
As a girl who grew up in the Midwest, the closest thing to grits I knew was Cream of Wheat, a breakfast porridge. It’s finer than grits since it’s made of ground wheat instead of ground corn. Cream of Wheat has a certain nostalgic quality to me – I can remember eating it on cold mornings before school – but grits are seriously so much better.
Southern City Flavors’ grits are stone ground and, according to their package, made at one of the few water-powered mills left in the U.S. They have terrific texture and more nutrients since stone grinding doesn’t grind the grains as evenly as more modern production methods would.
The texture of these grits was wonderful! They were smooth and creamy but still had some bite and chewiness to them.
Also in the package was Sweet Potato Butter, which is TO DIE FOR. It’s got cinnamon and spice and reminds me of apple butter in its consistency. I made biscuits for some friends the other weekend, and we couldn’t get enough of this sweet potato butter.
Last Sunday, I cooked up the grits with some cheddar cheese and plopped a fried egg on top. I cut up some apples and served toast with the sweet potato butter on it on the side. It was a fabulous fall breakfast.
These grits would also be tasty for dinner. They cook in just 20 minutes, and would be wonderful with a piece of grilled fish or even just some grilled vegetables on the side. Martha Stewart has a simple Chipotle Shrimp and Cheddar Grits recipe I like. Although now I’ll use Southern City Flavors grits instead of the instant grits this recipe calls for.
You can order their products online, or find them at a few local gift shops in Franklin and Leiper’s Fork. Jenn Todd recently reported in The Tennessean that you can also find these products at Whole Foods.
I can’t wait to introduce my relatives to grits this year for Christmas. You better believe Southern City Flavors Stone Ground Grits will be on my list.
Cheddar Cheese Grits & Eggs
Yield: 2 servings
You can use any kind of cheese in these grits. I had cheddar cheese on hand, but the original recipe called for Havarti which would also be tasty.
1 cup broth
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup Southern City Flavors Stone Ground Grits
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
freshly ground pepper
hot sauce, if desired
Bring broth, water, salt and butter to a boil in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan. Add grits and turn heat down to a simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring at least once. During the last few minutes of cooking, add the cheese and stir to combine.
Fry two eggs however you like - I like mine over easy - and place on top of grits in two bowls. Grind fresh pepper on top. Serve with hot sauce, if using.